Chunky Panday is a veteran Indian actor and businessman, who has mainly worked in Hindi and Bangladeshi films. He is the father of the famous Indian actress Ananya Panday.
Chunky Panday or Chunky Pandey was born on Wednesday, 26 September 1962 (age 59 years; as of 2021) in Mumbai.
He did his graduation in acting and dancing from Madhumati Academy of Film Dancing & Acting, Mumbai. He has also studied acting at Daisy Irani Acting School, Mumbai along with the Bollywood celebrities Salman Khan and Sajid Khan.
Height (approx.): 5′ 11″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
He belongs to a Brahmin Hindu family. ((India E Info
Parents & Siblings
His father, Sharad Panday, was a heart surgeon, who was among the team of surgeons who performed the first-ever heart transplant in India. His mother, Snehlata Pandey, was also a doctor. His younger brother, Chikki Panday aka Aloke Sharad Pandey, is a businessman.
Wife & Children
After dating the Indian costume designer Bhavana Pandey for almost ten years, the couple got married on 17 January 1998. In an interview, he shared how he met Bhavana for the first time, who is 12 years younger than him. He said,
Twenty-five years ago, after judging a preliminary round of Miss India in Delhi, I missed my flight to Mumbai, so I went to the discotheque Ghungroo. Bhavana was there with a friend of hers. She had snuck out of the house because it was a weekend.”
When Bhavana gave me her number, I didn’t have a paper or pen but fortunately, I have a very good memory with numbers. A month later when I was in Delhi, I called up her house and I was told that she had flown abroad for good. I thought our love story had come to an end. Later, I came to know that she had gone abroad only for a few months to train to become an air hostess with Lufthansa. Then a common friend informed me that Bhavana is in Mumbai and is staying at the Leela Hotel. I called up the hotel and asked for her room number. Later on, with her girlfriends from Lufthansa, we behaved like crazy youngsters and hung out together a lot.”
Chunky further talked about proposing Bhavana for marriage. He said,
I proposed for marriage. I was shooting in Sikkim and she was on a long flight to Germany and the realisation hit me: ‘God I can’t live without this girl.’ When she came back from her trip, I flew to Delhi and took her out to Bukhara, a restaurant in the Maurya hotel, and proposed to her. She instantly said,“Yes.”
Together they have two daughters, Ananya Panday (actress) and Rysa Panday.
Chunky Panday’s niece Seema Sachdev Khan is married to the Indian actor Sohail Khan. Chunky’s brother is married to the famous Indian fitness instructor Deanne Pandey.
Before getting married to Bhavana, he was in a relationship with the Indian model and MTV VJ Anu Kutoor. In an interview, while talking about his girlfriend, he said,
Chunky Pandey said that he was dating three to four girlfriends at a time. Now the problem was that if he had to go to a party and event, then how to take a girlfriend, so he always took his mother to the party and event. He said that apart from parties and events, he used to take his mother to shows and shootings abroad and used to tell girlfriends that he has a mother, so he takes her along. In this way the fear of taking girlfriends along would end and none of the girlfriends got angry.”
A Bungalow in Pali Hill, Mumbai
He started his career as an actor in the Hindi film ‘Aag Hi Aag’ (1987) opposite Neelam Kothari. In an interview, he shared how he got his debut film. He said,
Luckily, I had a very short struggle period. It took me just two years to break into films. I was out of college and 23 years old when I got my first break. People struggle for several years before they get a break. But I did go through a lot of rejection. I auditioned for TV roles and film roles but was turned down. Funnily, I got my first break in the most unexpected way. I met Pahlaj Nihalani in the loo of a five-star hotel! We started talking and he asked me what I do. I told him and he told me to come meet him in his office. This is how I got my first break!”
He further said that while filming for a scene in the film, he burnt the leg of his co-star in the film Neelam. He said,
I remember there was a scene where I had to take Neelam on a motorbike and escape from the shaadi ka mandap (wedding altar). I had done a little bit of training but I still wasn’t as good and I dropped her on the bike. Us bichari ka pair jal gaya (She burnt her leg). I felt so bad and I apologised and apologised and it was horrible. So I actually hurt her in the first film with me… She was very strong, she continued because she didn’t break her leg but she burnt it very badly. But she was a very hard-working and strong girl and she just bandaged it and went back to work. But it was horrible… the whole calf had peeled off literally and I’m the culprit because I dropped her from the bike.”
He rose to the fame with a few multi-starrer films like ‘Paap Ki Duniya’ (1988), ‘Gunahon Ka Faisla’ (1988), ‘Tezaab’ (1988), and ‘Aankhen’ (1993).
His successful Bollywood career did not last long, and in the 1990s, he started getting second lead offers in Hindi films. He was once out of work for a few months. He then got offers to act in the Bangladeshi films. He accepted the offer and subsequently, appeared in Bangladeshi films like ‘Meyerao Manush’ (1990), ‘Shami Keno Asami’ (1997), and ‘Prem Korechi Besh Korechi’ (2005). He gained immense popularity with these films and became a superstar in Bangladesh.
He continued acting in the Hindi films and did small roles in Hindi films like ‘Tirchhi Topiwale’ (1998), ‘Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan’ (1999), ‘Kaun Rokega Mujhe’ (1997), and ‘Jwalamukhi’ (2000).
After making a successful career in Bangladeshi films, he started focusing more on Hindi films. He then acted in Hindi films such as ‘Elaan’ (2005), ‘Apna Sapna Money Money’ (2006), ‘Om Shanti Om’ (2007), and ‘De Dana Dan’ (2009).
His role as “Aakhiri Pasta” gained immense popularity in the Housefull series including ‘Housefull’ (2010), ‘Housefull 2’ (2012), ‘Housefull 3’ (2016), and ‘Housefull 4’ (2019).
Some of his other Hindi films are ‘Saaho’ (2019), ‘Jawaani Jaaneman’ (2020), and ‘Vikun Tak’ (2020).
In 2020, he made his Hindi web series debut with the second season of the ZEE5 web series ‘Abhay 2.’
In 2022, he made his Gujarati film debut with ‘Nayika Devi- The Warrior Queen’ in which he played the role of Muhammad Ghori.
In the same year, he started his Tamil film career with ‘Sardar,’ and as of April 2022, his role in the film is not disclosed yet. Apart from being an actor, he is also a businessman. He owns a stage show host company named ‘Bollywood Electric.’
Awards & Honours
- 1989: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Performance in a Comic Role for the film Tezaab
- 2013: Nominated for Best Performance in a Comic Role for the film Apna Sapna Money Money
Zee Cine Awards
- 2013: Nominated for Best Actor in a Comic Role for Housefull 2
- 2021: Honorary Doctorate
IWM Buzz Digital Awards
- 2021: Won award for the Most Popular Negative Character in a Web Series (Male) for Abhay 2
- Dessert: Shahi Tukda, Fudge, Coconut Chikki, Modak, Bebinca
- Cuisine: Gujarati, Kutchi, Mughlai
- Fruits(s): Oranges, Litchis, Mangoes
- Indian Restaurant(s): Sheetal for Indian, China Gate and China Garden for Chinese food, Olive & Cafe Basilico for Italian
- International Restaurant(s): Carnivore in Nairobi, Tamarind in Kenya, Nobu in London, Jaya in New York
- Beverage(s): Sugarcane Juice, Nimbu Paani
- Chunky’s real name is Suyash Sharad Pandey, and Chunky is his nickname. In an interview, he shared the story behind choosing his nickname as his screen name. He said,
People think my name is Chandrakant or Chandratma, from which I have shortened it to Chunky. It is unfortunate that your name and nickname, which stay with you all through your lifetime, are not chosen by you! Between Suyash and Chunky, I prefer Chunky. When Pahlaj Nihalani was launching me with Aag Hi Aag in 1987, he had launched Govinda the year before and he also wanted to give me a name from the Ramayana or Mahabharata. But I felt that it wouldn’t suit me because my face is modern. Pahlaj didn’t even know the meaning of Chunky but his kids freaked out on the name as it was easy to pronounce. Luckily, I got to retain my nickname.”
- Various media sources have quoted that Chunky played the role of a bell-ringer student in the song “Rocky Mera Naam” from the film ‘Rocky’ (1981). However, he has denied all such claims.
- The Indian actor Akshay Kumar was his junior in the acting and dancing school Madhumati Academy of Film Dancing & Acting in Mumbai. Being his senior, Chunky used to give him acting and dancing classes in the school. During an interview, while remembering those days, Chunky said,
So when I was graduating… Akshay’s much younger than me, four-five years younger than me. Akshay was just joining the school. You know how it is, when you just join, the teachers don’t teach you, the senior students teach you. So I used to teach him some dance moves, and some dialogue delivery. He still laughs and jokes about it. That’s why he says in the initial part of his career he didn’t get too much work or awards, because of the acting I taught him. He had to undo what I taught him and become a better actor, and that’s why he’s become Akshay Kumar.”
- Before making his debut in the Hindi films, Chunky was a member of a rock band named ‘Crosswinds,’ and later, the band merged with the Delhi rock band named ‘Electric Plant.’
- During an interview, the reporter asked him how he maintained a positive attitude even after being trolled for his films. He replied that he did not take such things seriously. He further shared an incident from one of the award functions. He said,
I was 23 when I joined Bollywood. My hormones were going crazy and I wanted to do everything and be everywhere. I wanted to win all the awards. I’ll tell you about the first award I was nominated for, the Filmfare award for Tezaab. I was so confident of winning, that I actually left the shoot and flew down to Bombay for that award function. I’d convinced myself that I’d won the award. When they announced, ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ I actually got up and started walking towards the stage. I was so confident and it went to Anupam Kher for a film called Vijay. I kept walking, I walked to the toilet and then I left and went home.”
- He has also worked for a few modelling assignments including print advertisements and fashion shows.
- Chunky is an avid dog lover and owns a pet dog.
- He is an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha.
- He is often spotted smoking and drinking alcohol at parties and events.
- He owns a white coloured Mercedes-Benz E-Class car. At the age of 22, he owned a purple coloured Fiat Premier Padmini, but later he sold it.
- To maintain his fitness, he does swimming and cycling.
- Chunky Panday follows a non-vegetarian diet.
- In 2004, Chunky Panday, along with the veteran Indian actress Poonam Dhillon, campaigned for the candidates of BJP-NTC.
- In 2005, the Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan shared that when he was a struggler in Mumbai, Chunky had helped him in providing accommodation and making contacts with the people from the Hindi film industry.